Forward and Back

June 7, 2019

This Spring one of the quilt groups I’m in issued a challenge to try out a technique called interleaving, and this mini quilt is the result.  The idea behind interleaving is to take two relatively simple quilt blocks, cut them into strips, and alternate the strips to create a single block.

Starting out, I had to keep reminding myself to keep things simple.  I have a tendency to add extra piecing to create interest, but this was not the place to add too many seams!  I wanted the color palette to evoke a feeling of a sunset over the ocean, so I decided to make one block with warm colors and the other with cool colors.  The first block is a machine pieced circle with the Pantone color of the year, Living Coral, as the center.  (I love this year’s color so much that it is appearing in a few more projects, too!)

The second block is three wedge shaped segments in cool colors.  Most of this quilt is made of quilting cotton, but I decided to incorporate a piece of Art Gallery denim into this block to add a slightly different texture.

Maintaining the overall circle shape was important to what I wanted to achieve in this design, so I knew I had to cut the blocks into 1″ strips. This width of strip means the finished area is equal to the seam allowance- 1/2″ exposed and 1/2″ of seam allowance.  When the strips of the two blocks are alternated, the circle shape is maintained.

The piecing is really the star in this design, so I decided to do simple stitch in the ditch quilting using Aurifil monofilament.

The faced edges of the quilt allow the linear design to visually continue to the edge of the quilt.

Quilt Stats

Title:  Forward and Back

Size: 19″ x 19″

Techniques:  Machine Piecing, Interleaving

Quilting:  Stitched in the ditch with a walking foot quilting on a Bernina 1008

Fabric:  Cotton solids and lightweight quilters denim

Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool

Thread: Quilted with Aurifil monofilament

Binding:  Faced with the solid to match the backing

This mini quilt is my entry in the 2019 Pantone Quilt Challenge hosted by No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts.  I hope you will check out all of the exciting entries!

I am a resident of the United States


  • Reply
    Rochelle Summers
    June 7, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Thank you for the great explanation on how you achieve these results. I have heard of interleaving but had not read anything about how to do it. Another technique for me to try!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2019 at 4:38 am

    So pretty. Modern and colorful.

  • Reply
    June 19, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I’m going to have to try this technique sometime — this is so so cool!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    You explanation is so easy to follow. Thank you

  • Reply
    Chris Cole
    January 30, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Did you piece these back together on a foundation? Most examples of this I’ve seen are constructed on a gridded foundation with quilt-as-you-go technique. I’d love to do some other types of quilting, but am wondering whether the foundation and batting are needed to keep it all straight.

    • Reply
      February 10, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      I don’t use a foundation, but I can certainly see how it could be helpful!

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